Month: June 2016

We at Queen City Health Center are excited and proud to announce that Dr. Holly was selected as a winner for SmartCEO’s Charlotte 2016 Brava Awards!

This award celebrates high-impact female business leaders in 3 categories: CEOs, Executive Directors of Nonprofits, and C-Suite Executives. As a female leader impacting the health of Charlotte citizens each and every day, Dr. Holly definitely deserves this very prestigious honor.

As a winner, Dr. Holly and Queen City Health Center will be profiled in the September 2016 issue of Charlotte SmartCEO Magazine, as well as on SmartCEO.com.

We wanted to take a minute to recognize Dr. Holly for all of her hard work right here on the QCHC blog, and to say congratulations! We also wanted to feature an excerpt from her Brava Award application, as it really demonstrates her heart for her community and the health of those she serves:

What serves as your inspiration? (i.e. a life/educational experience, a book, a hardship, etc.)

I have been a lifelong advocate of health and wellness. Ironically, this stems from horrible experiences as a child in the traditional healthcare system. I can remember screaming and crying while being held down to receive shots that left me fearful and traumatized. I was constantly sick, battling sinus infections and respiratory issues, and taking medications that never truly corrected the problems, but instead left me fatigued, congested, and sleepless at night.  I was determined that there had to be a better, healthier way to live. I immersed myself in educational pursuits to learn about health, nutrition, and the body—how it functions physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I started to follow common-sense principles like eating nutritious food, exercising properly, detoxifying my cells from previous exposures to chemicals, and aligning my spine to optimize nervous system function.  After three years, I began to see massive changes in my energy and health, and developed a deep desire and passion for helping others experience the same transformation. My own experiences of seeing how natural, holistic care can change a person’s health and life continues to fuel me every day as I meet with new and existing patients at Queen City Health Center. We take a truly unique approach to health, focusing not only on chiropractic, but also on maximizing your mind, nutrition, and fitness, as well as minimizing toxins to result in whole-body health and wellness. I continue to be encouraged by the testimonies of my patients who have experienced positive results as well.

Describe a significant challenge/obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your personal and/or professional life. What lessons did you learn as a result? 

I started with virtually nothing. After graduating college, I was broke and had mountains of student debt. I was also living at a friend’s house. It’s easy to get discouraged in a situation like that. It’s easy to tell yourself that you won’t succeed—that you can’t succeed because you don’t have the financial and material resources necessary to overcome all obstacles. But when you’re just getting started as a doctor (or in any profession for that matter), it’s really feast or famine. Sink or swim. You either have to go all in, which usually involves a great amount of risk, or you’ll fail. For me, failure was not an option. I believe my passion for instilling healthy habits in people and helping them to change their lives is really what drove me to succeed. It’s always been about serving other people. I learned from the beginning that people matter more than profits. This is a principle that many in the health field could benefit from adopting, whether you’re a conventional medical doctor or a holistic naturopath. Your people—including your patients, your employees, your partners, and your mentors—are more important than making an extra dollar, even if you are in a time of need. You will succeed when you’re willing to help someone else succeed first, and that has always been my goal. In my field, success is defined my many factors. It’s not just about succeeding in business. It’s about achieving optimal health and wellness and building quality relationships as well.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Holly on being selected as a winner for this award by leaving a comment below!

How to Overcome Your Sugar Addiction

FACT: Sugar is one of the most addictive substances on the planet.

Even more addictive than cocaine.

It makes sense if you really think about it. It’s in almost everything we eat, and the more we eat of it, the more we seem to crave.

Do you drink sodas and sugary beverages throughout the day? Do you put sugar in your coffee? Do you eat lots of breads, pastas and cereals? Starchy fruits and veggies like bananas and sweet potatoes? All of these foods add up to massive amounts of sugar in our diet. In fact, it’s safe to say that the American diet encourages the over-consumption of sugar. If you don’t believe me, think back to when you were in elementary school and learned about the United States food pyramid. Grains were at the bottom of the pyramid, which also happened to be the largest section (6-11 servings a day recommended.) The food pyramid has been revised quite a bit since then, but in my opinion, we could stand to revise it further.

Americans consume way too much sugar—especially processed sugar—and it is wreaking havoc on our health.

3 Reasons to Quit Eating Sugar

  1. Sugar feeds cancer cells.
  2. Sugar slows down immune system function, resulting in longer-lasting periods of illness.
  3. Sugar causes weight gain.

But if sugar is in virtually everything we eat, how can we get away from it? How do you overcome your sugar addiction? Here are some tips on how you can keep your sugar intake to a minimum, all while strengthening your immune system, losing weight, and preventing disease.

Tip #1: Commit to a 30-day “No Sugar” Challenge. There’s something about challenges that instinctively motivate us. Commit to quitting sugar for 30 days to reset your body, and you’ll likely find that your cravings decrease even beyond the 30-day period.

Tip #2: Stop buying food items that contain sugar. During your 30-day challenge, this includes sources of natural sugar like honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, milk, grains, breads, pastas, most fruits (except for berries and green apples), starchy veggies, and legumes. Stick to the outer aisles of the grocery store, and avoid boxed, precooked, or processed foods.

Tip #3: Quit drinking cow’s milk. Cow’s milk contains sugar. It also increases mucus production and most of it is pasteurized—a process that destroys essential nutrients. Humans were never meant to drink the milk of another animal, but cow’s milk is particularly unhealthy due to its mass production and the fact that most cows are grain-fed instead of grass-fed. If you can find raw, organic, grass-fed cow’s milk from a local farmer, that is a better choice, but I still advocate quitting milk cold-turkey for at least 30 days. You can opt for almond or coconut milk instead, but make sure you read the ingredients or make your own. Many store-bought nut milks contain artificial ingredients and preservatives that make them just as unhealthy as cow’s milk.

Tip #4: Drink more water. Staying hydrated is essential to maintaining good health and flushing your body of the toxins that will likely be released when you start the no-sugar challenge. You should drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water each day.

Tip #5: Eat healthy fats. When you eat sugar, your body burns it for energy instead of fat, ultimately hindering weight loss. When you stop eating sugar, your body burns fat for energy, so it’s important to supplement your diet with sources of healthy fat, such as coconut oil, butter (the real stuff, not the substitutes), and avocados.

Tip #6: Get support! “A strand of three cords is not easily broken!” Partner up with a friend for your no-sugar challenge and commit to holding each other accountable. It’s much easier to maintain a commitment when you’re doing it with someone else who will support your efforts.

Have you ever completed a no-sugar challenge? We want to hear about your results! Please share them with us in the comments section below this post.

When we think of summer, we imagine relaxing by the pool, drinks with tiny umbrellas, the smell of sunscreen, and a beach-ready body. We rarely think or discuss post-summer syndrome: a common condition where our skin is sunburned, our hair is either chlorine- or sun-damaged, and a few extra pounds of fat have magically appeared on our bodies.

It can be difficult to pass up opportunities to indulge in ice cream on a hot summer day or skip going to the gym to drive to the beach with your friends. But maintaining healthy habits will help our bodies function properly, resulting in weight loss, more energy, better mental clarity, and less illness.

As tempting as it can be to take a vacation from your health, it’s important to try and stay healthy. Here are some tips to help you do that while still enjoying your summer “vacay!”

Tip #1: Plan, plan, plan. I’ve heard my mentors say hundreds of times, “proper planning prevents piss-poor performance,” and never do I find this truer than when it comes to my health! This summer, take the time to map out your health plan. Determine your workouts and meals, and shop for all necessary sun gear ahead of time. When traveling, consider pre-packing as much food as possible, and make a list of any perishables you plan to buy once you arrive.

Whether on vacation or at home, prepping your meals for the week reduces stress and adds to the time you get to spend enjoying the beautiful weather!

Tip #2: Pack healthy snacks. Whether you’re taking a short car ride to the park or hopping on a three-hour flight, having healthy, non-perishable snacks on hand can help you avoid ingesting too many sugars, bad fats, and harmful chemicals. Most hotels offer continental breakfasts with highly-processed foods such as pastries and cereals. Having better options on hand will save you time in the mornings and keep you from feeling miserable.

Here are some of the snacks I enjoy:

  • Fresh fruit & nut butters
  • Seed crackers
  • Celery & carrot sticks
  • Trail mix
  • Homemade energy bars

Tip #3: Commit to three miles or thirty minutes of daily exercise. Just because it’s summer, that doesn’t mean you should stop your workouts! Pick your favorite outdoor activity, such as tennis or swimming, and put it on your calendar. Commit to setting aside thirty minutes each day to get your heart rate up, and you will feel better about yourself and your body!

Tip #4: Skip the sugar. While we may never completely escape the evils of sugar, we can take away its power over our health! Sugar causes weight gain, hormone disruption, increased inflammation, increased pain, and headaches. While I’m an advocate of total sugar elimination, I realize that may not be realistic for everyone. Still, if you’re going to bend or break the rules, you can do so wisely.

Swap out processed desserts for fresh-fruit smoothies. When you’re on vacation, allow yourself just one “cheat meal.” In general, stick to the 80/20 rule, and you should be okay: “80% of the time, make good health decisions, and you can bend the rules during the other 20%.”

Tip #5: Find an accountability partner. We always work better in teams! Find a friend, co-worker or family member to hold you accountable. Schedule times to work out and plan meals together. Surround yourself with positive, health-minded, motivated people, and you are bound to succeed. If you can’t find someone, join us in the office!

Tip #6: Check your summer products. Unfortunately, a lot of commercial-grade products have harmful additives and toxins that can adversely affect your health. My golden rule when it comes to skin products is: if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, don’t put it on your skin! Here’s what’s in my skin arsenal for summer vacations and outdoor activities:

  • Lavender Oil (for bug bites, stings, rashes, etc.)
  • Hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol (soak a cotton ball and place in ears to prevent swimmer’s ear and ear infections)
  • Fractionated coconut oil and apple cider vinegar (mix with a few drops of lavender oil and rub on sunburn to help soothe and heal)
  • Coconut oil or zinc oxide (these are much healthier and safer than traditional over-the-counter sunscreens)

Tip #7: Drink water! Water is the answer for a lot of things, but we always seem to forget! It’s easy to be so consumed by outdoor activities that we dehydrate quickly. Water improves your skin’s appearance, your energy levels, your focus and your bodily functions. You should drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water each day, and for extra absorption and electrolytes, add a pinch of sea salt.

 

Most importantly, keep stress levels to a minimum. Summer is a time to relax and rejuvenate. Don’t make yourself crazy by counting every calorie, and don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day of exercise. Just try to make the best choices you can, and above all enjoy the time you’ll spend with family and friends.

Are you one of those people that gets stuck in a slump around 3 p.m. every day? This is a common occurrence, especially for those who work in an office or sit behind a desk most of the time.

It’s easy to grab a cup of coffee, an energy drink, or a soda to wake up, but there are much healthier solutions. Sugary, caffeinated beverages will not only make you gain weight. You’ll feel jittery and end up crashing hard just a few hours later (potentially during your drive home in rush-hour traffic . . . no bueno.)

Here are 5 healthy ways to energize your body and feel more awake without caffeine.

Hydrate.

Dehydration can easily lead to fatigue. If you haven’t been drinking enough water, that could explain your daily afternoon slump. Stay hydrated throughout the day to avoid falling asleep at your desk.

Go outside.

It’s amazing what a dose of Vitamin D can do for your body. Get it straight from its natural source—the sun—by spending at least 30 minutes a day outdoors. When you feel yourself slipping, it’s probably a good time to take advantage of your employee break by taking a walk outside around your office building.

Eat a spoonful of coconut oil.

Coconut oil contains healthy fat, which is great for a brain boost when you’re feeling foggy. You can also obtain healthy fats from other foods like avocado, fish, and olive oil. I find that coconut oil is a convenient solution that I can bring to the office and eat by the spoonful whenever I start to feel fatigued.

Exercise.

Regular exercise can help prevent fatigue as you build strength and endurance. It can be as simple as a 15-minute walk, and if you do it outside, that’s even better! If you don’t have 15 minutes, then at least take a minute or two to stand up and stretch. Doing this once an hour throughout your workday can make a huge difference in how you feel. For a simple, 12-minute daily exercise regimen that will help you lose weight and build lean muscle, check out this post.

Use peppermint oil.

Essential oils have a variety of uses. Peppermint oil is great for boosting energy and mental clarity. You can diffuse it at your desk or take a drop under the tongue. However, not all oils are created equal! Make sure the brand you choose is safe for internal ingestion before taking it orally. DoTerra is the brand I use and recommend. (In fact, we diffuse their oils regularly at Queen City Health Center!)

Next time you fall into an afternoon slump, try one of these five solutions before resorting to caffeine or sugar. And if you find you absolutely must drink coffee, drink it black or Bulletproof® style, and make sure it’s organic!

Queen City Health Center is a Charlotte Chiropractic and total wellness center for individuals and families. With locations across Charlotte, NC and Matthews, NC, we specialize in helping individuals and families find true health and ways to maximize their lives through nutrition, lifestyle classes, detoxification and spinal correction.


SouthPark Office 4421 Sharon Rd #100 Charlotte, NC 28211 980-422-2000
Matthews Office 1730 Matthews Township Pkwy Matthews, NC 28105 704-844-6368